ANDREW VORCE - Friday, October 15, 2010
Tim Howard and Everton will take on Liverpool in the first Merseyside match of the season, while Brad Friedel and Aston Villa look to put a stop to high flying Chelsea who are without their star forward in a full weekend of English action.
Everton - Liverpool
Tim Howard will take center stage in Sunday's Merseyside match which will be the most talked about game, and potentially most important for both clubs involved.
No matter which way you look at it, both Liverpool-based clubs are at the bottom of the Premier League.
Roy Hodgson and Liverpool will have the upper hand, even away from home, since New England Sports Ventures bought the rights to Liverpool from Tom Hicks and George Gellette.
The new owners will not be at the match, but the club will likely perform under new ownership.
Hodgson will be without Dirk Kuyt for up to four weeks with an ankle injury, sidelining him with Daniel Agger.
Fernando Torres is doubtful as the striker is struggling with a groin injury, while Paul Konchesky is out with a hamstring injury.
Marouanne Fellaini is once again sidelined for over a month with a hamstring injury, joining Phil Jagielka and Steven Pienaar on the sidelines.
Louis Saha and Victor Anichebe are both very doubtful, while Jack Rodwell is out for another month with an ankle injury.
Aston Villa - Chelsea
Brad Friedel will need to be on point if he wants Aston Villa to take anything away from their home match against Chelsea, even if Didier Drogba is absent.
Chelsea have seldom stuttered in their 2010-11 campaign, largely due to the brilliance of Drogba.
The front man is out with a fever, while midfield titan Frank Lampard is still out with a groin injury.
John Terry looks to have shaken off his back injury to make the trip, and may be joined by Jose Bosingwa.
Alex is out until the end of the month, while Saloman Kalou is also sidelined. Yossi Benayoun and Jeffery Bruma are the last two Blues out.
Aston Villa will be without Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor, two of Gerard Houllier's key men.
Heskey has been revitalized under his new coach, but is now out with a back injury while Agbonlahor is out with a groin injury.
Andreas Weimann has been sidelined until February with an ankle injury, while Fabian Delph is out with a knee injury.
Fulham - Tottenham
Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson will both be looking for massive playing time as North London rivals Tottenham travel to Craven Cottage.
Fulham sit in 10th, while Champions League Tottenham sit in fifth place.
Fulham have the advantage as far as healthy players, but still have seven injured.
Moussa Dembele could make a return after an ankle injury, while Andy Johnson has an outside chance of making a start in Mark Hughes squad.
Bobby Zamora and Phillippe Senderos are both sidelined until February, while David Stockdale joines Steve Kelly and Fredrik Stoor on the sidelines for Fulham.
Tottenham have nine players out of action heading in to the weekend, with only Benoit Assou-Ekotto likely to make a return.
William Gallas and Younes Kaboul are both doubtful, while a quartet of players are all still suspect.
Aaron Lennon has a back injury, while Michael Dawson, Jamie O'Hara, and Jonothan Woodgate are all questionable.
Ledley King is out iwth a groin injury, while Jermain Defoe is out until December with an ankle sprain.
Wolverhampton - West Ham
Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves will look at the visit of basement dwellers West Ham as a chance at three points, while Jonathan Spector is not expected to play for the Hammers.
West Ham have six players out, while Valon Behrami could make a return after recovering from a knee injury.
Zavon Hines is out until December and Jack Collison is out until January with a knee injury. Thomas Hitzlsperger is out until Febraury on top of Anthony Edgar and Peter Kurucz being out until March and May respectively.
Stephen Hunt could make his return for Wolves after healing from his metatarsal fracture, however Kevin Doyle is unlikely to play due to a knee injury.
Ronald Zubar is out until next month with an ankle injury and Adlene Guedioura is out until February with a broken leg.
Bolton - Stoke
Stuart Holden will aim to be back in the fold for Bolton as two strong teams come face to face at The Reebok Stadium.
Kevin Davies made his first appearance for England against Montenegro, but picked up an injury in the process and will be monitored.
Andy and Joey O'Brien are both still out, while Sean Davis, Ricardo Gardner, and Jlloyd Samuel are all out of action.
Andy Wilkinson is out with a knee injury and Mamady Sidibe looks to also be sidelined with a calf injury. Thomas Sorensen picked up an injury on international duty as well, but looks poised to recover in time for the away trip.
Carlisle United – Exeter City
Frank Simek and fellow American Mike Grella hope to help Carlisle United to victory as they travel to play Exeter City this weekend.
Grella is on a month loan from Leeds United and will looks to impress with the League One team.
The young forward could get his opportunity Saturday.
Simek is a regular on the Cumbrians starting eleven and should start against Exeter City.
Carlisle beat Notts County last week and is only three points from first in the standings.
The Cumbrians' Paul Thirlwell and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson could both miss with knee injuries while Danny Livesey is close to coming back to action after a long-term groin injury.
Exeter City is coming off a 2-1 loss to Walsall and will hope for a win this weekend.
The Grecians' Matt Taylor is recovering from a back injury and should not feature.
Conor Doyle hopes to feature as Derby County host Preston North End.
Anton Peterlin could make the gameday roster for Plymouth as they take on Notts County.
Seb Harris and Northampton Town take on Hereford United in League Two play.
Jon-Paul Pittman will be out for four months and will not feature as Wycombe take on Chesterfield.
Jemal Johnson was injured last week and is questionable for playing time as Port Vale hosts Gillingham.